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(GeoFFREY CHAUCER, born in London probably about 1328, died at Westminster in 1400. He was the son of a vintner; was page in Prince Lionel's household, served in the army, was taken prisoner in France. He was afterwards valet and squire to Edward III., and went as king's commissioner to Italy in 1372, and later. He was Controller of the Customs in the port of London from 1381 to 1386, was M. P. for Kent in 1386, Clerk of the King's Works at Windsor in 1389, and died poor. Mr. Furnivall divides his poetical history into four periods : (1)
up to 1371, including the early poems: viz., the A. B. C., the Compleynte to Pitė, the Boke of the Duchesse, and the Compleynte of Mars; (2) from 1372 to 1381, including the Troylus and Criseyde, Anelida, and the Former Age; (3) the best period, from 1381 to 1389, including the Parlement of Foules, the Hous of Fame, the Legende of Goode Women, and the chief of the Canterbury Tales; (4) from 1390 to 1400, including the latest Canterbury Tales, and the Ballades and Poems of Reflection and later age, of which the last few, like the Steadfastness, show failing power.]
Both in hele and also in sickness,
PRAISE OF WOMEN. For, this ye know well, tho' I wouldin
lie, In women is all truth and steadfastness; For, in good faith, I never of them sie But much worship, bounty, and gentle
ness, Right coming, fair, and full of meeké.
ness; Good, and glad, and lowly, I you en
sure, Is this goodly and angelic creatùre. And if it hap a man be in disease, She doth her business and her full pain With all her might him to comfòrt and
please, If fro his disease him she might restrain : In word ne deed, I wis, she woll not
faine; With all her might she doth her busi
ness To bringen him out of his heaviness. Lo, here what gentleness these women
have, If we could know it for our rudéness ! How busy they be us to keep and save
THE YOUNG SQUIRE. With him there was his son, a younge
Squire, A lover and a lusty bachelor, With lockés crull, as they were laid in
press. Of twenty year of age he was I guess. Of his statùre he was of even length, And wonderly deliver and great of
strength; And he had been some time in cheva
chie In Flandres, in Artois, and in Picardy, And borne him well, as of so little space, In hope to standen in his lady's grace. Embroidered was he, as it were a
mead All full of freshé flowers white and red. Singing he was or fluting all the day: He was as fresh as is the month of
Short was his gown, with sleevés long GOOD COUNSEL OF CHAUCER. and wide;
Fly from the press, and dwell with Well could he sit on horse, and fairé soothfastness; ride.
Suffice unto thy good, though it be He couldé songés well make, and indite, small, Joust, and eke dance, and well pourtray For hoard 2 hath hate, and climbing and write.
tickleness; 3 So hot he lovéd, that by nightertale Preise 4 hath envie, and weal is blent He slept no more than doth the nightin
o'er all. gale.
Savor no more than thee behoven shall, Courteous he was, lowly and serviceable, Rede 6 well thy self that other fold can'st And carved before his father at the table. rede,
And Truth thee shalt deliver — 'tis no
drede.? ARCITAS DYING ADDRESS.
That thee is sent receive in buxomness : ALAS, the wo! alas, the painés strong
The wrestling of this world, asketh a That I for you have suffered, and so long!
fall. Alas, the death ! — alas, mine Emelie !
Here is no home, here is but wilderness. Alas, departing of our company! Alas, mine herté's queen! - alas, my
Forth, pilgrim, forth — on, best out of wife,
Look up on high, and thank the God Mine herté's lady - ender of my life!
of all! What is this world? What axen men to
Weivith 8 thy lust, and let thy ghost 9 have?
thee lead, Now with his love, now in his coldé
And Truth thee shalt deliver grave
drede. Alone! withouten any company,
1 The crowd. 4 Commendation. 7 Fear. Farewell, my sweet ! farewell, mine
8 Subdue. Emelie?"
Uncertainty. 6 Counsel.
THE EARL OF SURREY.
1517-1547. (HENRY HOWARD was the eldest son of Thomas Earl of Surrey, by his second wife, the Lady Elizabeth Stafford, daughter of Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham. The date and place of his birth are alike unknown. It probably occurred in 1517. He became Earl of Surrey on the accession of his father to the dukedom of Norfolk in 1524. The incidents of his early life are buried in obscurity; the incidents of his later life rest on evidence rarely trustworthy and frequently apocryphal. He was beheaded on Tower Hill January 21, 1547, nominally on a charge of high treason, really in consequence of having fallen a victim to a Court intrigue, the particulars of which it is now impossible to unravel. With regard to the chronology of his various poems we have nothing to guide us. Though they were extensively circulated in manuscript during his lifetime, they were not printed till June, 1557, when they made their appearance, together with Wyatt's poems and several fugitive pieces by other authors, in Totteľs Miscellany.]
THE MEANS TO ATTAIN HAPPY | The equal friend, no grudge, no strife, LIFE.
No charge of rule nor governance; [Translated from Martial.]
Without disease, the healthful life;
The household of continuance.
The fruitful ground, the quiet mind. True wisdom joined with simpleness; The night discharged of all care, And every thought did shew so lyvely in Where wine the wit may not oppress. myne eyes,
That now I sight, and then I smilde, as The faithful wife, without debate;
cause of thoughts did ryse. Such sleeps as may beguile the night; I saw the little boy, in thought how oft Contented with thine own estate,
that he Ne wish for death, ne fear his might. Did wishe of God, to scape the rod, a tall
young man to be,
The young man eake that feles his bones GIVE PLACE, YE LOVERS.
with paines opprest GIVE place, ye lovers, here before How he would be a riche old man, to That spent your boasts and brags in live and lye at rest; vain;
The riche olde man that sees his end My lady's beauty passeth more
draw on so sore, The best of yours, I dare well sayen, How he would be a boy againe to live so Than doth the sun the candlelight,
much the more. Or brightest day the darkest night; Whereat full oft I smylde, to see how all
those three And thereto hath a troth as just
From boy to man, from man to boy, As had Penelope the fair;
would chop and change degree. For what she saith ye may it trust, And musing thus, I think, the case is As it by writing sealed were;
very strange, And virtues hath she many mo'
That man from wealth, to live in wo, Than I with pen have skill to show.
doth ever seke to change. I could rehearse, if that I would,
Thus thoughtfull as I lay, I sawe my
withered skyn, The whole effect of Nature's plaint, When she had lost the perfect mould,
How it doth shew my dented chewes,
the flesh was worn so thin, The like to whom she could not paint. With wringing hands, how did she cry!
And eke my tootheless chaps, the gates
of And what she said, I know it aye.
my right way,
That opes and shuttes, as I do speak, I know she swore, with raging mind,
do thus unto me say: Her kingdom only set apart,
The white and horish heres, the messenThere was no loss by law of kind
age, That could have gone so near her
That shew like lines of true belief, that heart;
this life doth assuage, And this was chiefly all her pain,
Biddes thee lay hand, and feele them “She could not make the like again.”
hanging on thy chin.
The whiche doth write to ages past, the Sith Nature thus gave her the praise
third now coming in; To be the chiefest work she wrought, Hang up therefore the bitte, of thy yong In faith, methink, some better ways
wanton tyme, On your behalf might well be sought, And thou that therein beaten art, the Than to compare, as ye have done,
happiest life defyne. To match the candle with the sun. Whereat I sighed, and sayde, farewell
my wonted toye, HOW NO AGE IS CONTENT
Trusse up thy packe, and trudge from
me, to every little boy, WITH ITS OWN ESTATE.
And tell them thus from me, their time LAYD in my quiet bed in study as I
were, most happy is, I saw within my troubled head, a heap If to theyr time they reason had, to of thoughts appear,
know the truth of this.
SIR THOMAS WYATT.
1503-1542. [THOMAS WYATT, the eldest son of Sir Henry Wyatt, a baronet of ancient family, was born at Allington Castle, in Kent, in 1503. In the Court of Henry VIII. he soon became a conspicuous figure, famous for his wit, his learning, his poetical talents, his linguistic attainments, his skill in athletic exercises, his fascinating manners and his handsome person. From a courtier he developed into a statesman and a diplomatist, and in the duties incident to statesmanship and diplomacy most of his life was passed. He died at Sherborne, while on his road to Falmouth, and was buried there October 11, 1542. His poems were first printed in Tottel's Miscellany in 1557.]
A DESCRIPTION OF SUCH A ONE Some pleasant houres thy wo may wrap, AS HE COULD LOVE.
and thee defend and cover.
Thus in this trust, as yet it hath my life A FACE that should content me won
sustained, derous well,
But now (alas) I see it faint, and I by Should not be fatt, but lovely to behold,
trust am trayned. Of lively look all griefe for to repell
The tyme doth flete, and I see how the With right good grace so would I that
hours do bende, it should.
So fast that I have scant the space to Speak without word, such words as none
marke my coning end. can tell;
Westward the sunn from out the east Her tress also should be of crisped gold.
scant shewd his lite, With wit and these, perchaunce I might
When in the west he hies him straite be tryde
within the dark of night And knit againe with knot that should
And comes as fast, where he began his not slide.
path awry, From east to west, from west to east, so
doth his journey lye. COMPLAINT OF THE ABSENCE
Thy lyfe so short, so frayle, that morOF HIS LOVE,
tall men lyve here, Soe feeble is the thred that doth the Soe great a weight, so heavy charge the burden stay,
bodyes that we bere, Of my poor life in heavy plight that That when I think upon the distance falleth in decay,
and the space, That but it have elsewhere some ayde That doth so farre divide me from thy or some succours,
dere desired face, The running spindle of my fate anon I know not how t'attaine the winges shall end his course.
that I require, For since the unhappy houre that dyd To lyft me up that I might fly to follow me to depart,
my desyre. From my sweet weale one only hoape Thus of that hope that doth my lyfe hath stayed my life apart,
somethyng susteyne, Which doth perswade such words unto Alas I fear, and partly feel full little my sored mynde,
doth remaine. Maintaine thy selfe, Owofull wight, Eche place doth bring me griefe where some better luck to find.
I doe not behold, For though thou be deprived from thy Those lively eyes which of my thoughts, desired sight
were wont the keys to hold. Who can thee tell, if thy returne before Those thoughts were pleasant sweet thy more delight;
whilst I enjoy'd that grace, Or who can tell thy loss if thou mayst My pleasure past, my present pain, when once recover,
I might well embrace.